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The Millennial: How ghosting became the ‘new normal’ for ending relationships

Have you ever been ghosted or zombied and you’re left wondering what you could have possibly done to deserve such agonizing disrespect? 

Ghosting and Zombieing are not new in the dating scene in as much as the terms have been conjured up over the years to define someone disappearing from your life without any explanation whatsoever. I need not say how infuriating the act of ghosting can be as I have reason to believe that every human being has had their own fair share of either being ghosted or zombied at any one point in their lives.

Before we get into the exhaustive details of ghosting and zombieing, let’s get to know what they mean comprehensively. Ghosting typically is when someone disappears from your life without any sort of explanation as to why they don’t want to continue interacting with you, whereas as zombieing is when someone ghosts you, but then decides to come back into your life like nothing happened. 

Also read: NN Lifestyle – 5 ways to start a hard conversation with your partner

When I look at these two terms, only one thing comes to mind. If they respected you, they would tell you. Someone who values and respects you enough would not choose to hurt you by walking out of your life like nothing happened between you two. 

In a romantic relationship ghosting mostly starts with frequent silent treatment, the basic “on and off communication”, that eventually turns into ghosting (no communication at all). Both are very common manipulative tactics to get one hooked on the perpetrator.

Of course, you don’t know about these tactics when you experience ghosting for the first time and that’s why it affects your mental and emotional health as you feel totally helpless and confused. 

Also read: NN Lifestyle – Is social media enough ground for someone to end a relationship?

Initially, it appears as if you have hurt or disappointed your partner by doing or saying something due to which they went quiet, but eventually when the frequency of silent treatment increases for trivial or no reason you realize that in any healthy relationship with genuine feelings and intentions both the partners are respectful to each other and they always discuss the differences instead of shutting down and blocking communication as a punishment. 

It’s baffling just how ghosting, wrong as it is, has been normalized in this day and age as a new way of ending relationships. In an era where casual dating and situationships have become a spectacle of what it means to date and court, many people have embraced the street notion of “hit it and quit it”, which has only amplified the justification of ghosting and zombieing. 

Why do people ghost?

  • They are trying to avoid a confrontation. 
  • They want to spare you a humiliating rejection and hope that you will “get it.” This is an excuse, usually to avoid confrontation by emotionally stunted/immature people with poor communication skills.
  • They simply don’t give a crap about you and don’t think they owe you an explanation. 
  • They strongly assume you know what you did. They are mad at you and don’t think you deserve an explanation. 
  • The interaction or relationship was not meaningful enough for them to warrant a breakup or a conversation. They’ve checked out of the relationship a while back and had a head start on you.
  • They know they are doing a shitty thing but don’t want to deal with crying, or someone trying to talk them back into a relationship.
  • By their standards, your interaction/relationship does not warrant a breakup because it wasn’t real. It was not a real relationship i.e. you were very casually dating, been on one date, or just chatted online.

If you got ghosted, and know that you didn’t deserve it, I’d take it as a gift of sorts. It’s really all you need to know about a person. You dodged a bullet.

Ghosting experiences

“I was ghosted and unfortunately for the coward, I got the last laugh. If you’re going to ghost me, please make sure it’s permanent, because now you have lost my trust, friendship, and respect. My enemies deserve more respect, as I can have compassion for them. For people with no empathy, I will show no mercy as I will strike down upon them with great vengeance and furious anger. Unfortunately, this is what we breed in future generations: Entitlement and Extreme Selfishness,”  Samuel Githiomi, 29.

Also read: The Millennial – It’s not a man who will steal your woman; another woman will

“I have been ghosted many times. It’s weird because you don’t know if something is going on in the person’s life and they don’t have time to contact you, or if they are just dropping you without having the courage to say so. Tell me you don’t want to get together with me instead of just ghosting me. But it’s happened so many times that I now understand it is something very common. Now I assume that if I stop getting responses from someone, it is most likely because they don’t want to interact with me. I usually stop trying,” Angela Kirimi, 26.

“Personally, I don’t feel it’s cowardly. My feeling is it’s dishonest to both parties. What happened in my case was I finally met a lady with an honest straightforward profile and we hit it off tremendously. Spent several hangouts together and then “poof” never saw her again. In the next couple of weeks, I figured out I was blocked from her socials. I don’t hold it against her but it was a final Hail Mary. What hurts is that we agreed in one of our first get-togethers if it reached an end we would let the other know,” Mark Kinyua, 32.